We recently visited Ipswich as part of the BBC World War One At Home Live Events tour. Here is just one of the fascinating Life Stories from Lives of the First World War belonging to soldiers from Suffolk.
As we continue on the road with the BBC World War One At Home Live Events tour, it’s been great to meet so many of you and introduce even more people to the permanent digital memorial. As time goes on, and more and more people add information, images, documents and memories to Lives of the First World War, the site will become a fascinating treasure trove of rediscovered stories as well as a memorial.
Harry Pettit Robinson, Gallipoli survivor
Harry Pettit Robinson was from Ipswich, and had been in the Royal Army Medical Corps since 1912 when war was declared. Over the years he moved through the ranks from private to acting serjeant, serving in Gallipoli and later on the Western Front.
We’d just got in when we heard the ‘ping ping ping’ of the machine gun
He worked as a stretcher bearer and dressing station attendant, and survived the war, passing away in 1994. In 1990 he was interviewed by IWM about his war experiences, and the recording is linked from his Life Story.
Here’s part of his description of one experience:
“One day we thought we’d walk down the bay, and we got most of the way down when we heard ‘tut-tut-tut-tut-tut’. Oh dear! We looked, and we could see splashes in the water coming nearer and nearer, and we turned round and bolted for this place – it would give us shelter, you see, it had got a roof on it. And we rushed into it, all of us tipped ourselves in anyhow to get in. And we’d just got in when we heard, coming over the top, the ‘ping ping ping’ of the machine gun.”
Find links to his full interview on his Life Story. If you know anything else about these men, perhaps you could add it to their Life Stories.